(Updated) Indie dev begins petition to stop G2A selling indie game keys

 

G2A has developed a reputation somewhat of being a grey market key seller with lots of accusations that keys sold on the platform by sellers are often obtained through illegitimate means. These means are said to include people posing as press/influencers to get keys to then sell them on, to accusations that keys are bought in bulk using stolen debit and credit card details from one seller then put up on G2A. It’s an issue quite a lot of developers have been vocal about as keys sold through G2A are often cheaper than elsewhere meaning the value of the game appears cheapened and also results in loss of revenue for developers with smaller developers obviously feeling this a lot more.

Now Mike Rose of publisher No More Robots, which has published games such as Hypnospace Outlaw, Nowhere Prophet, and Descenders, has started a petition that is demanding G2A remove indie games from its platform. This follows a heated discussion between Mike Rose and G2A over a post where G2A has stated it will pay developers 10x the money they would have lost through chargebacks on illegally obtained keys, as long as developers could prove they were victims. What hasn’t sat well is some of the responses G2A has given to developers on Twitter following the article, with certain odd stances being taken that if G2A didn’t sell unverified keys then someone else would.

As you can see there’s a lot of back and forth between G2A and developers over what counts as a legitimate key. In one Tweet G2A states that even if games that are being sold were acquired despite breaking terms of service of other markets it doesn’t matter because TOS doesn’t equal the law.

It’s unlikely G2A will close down due to this issue as it has been functioning fine despite other issues in its past, but developers really do not appear to like dealing with the company. Since the petition was started earlier, which is called “G2A: Stop selling indie titles on your platform” a couple of hours ago it has garnered approximately 600 signatures at the time of writing and has been shared by the likes of Mike Bithell. Whether G2A will actually do anything despite the pressure remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely.

Source: Twitter

Update:

Questions have been raised in how Steam keys are finding their way to G2A, and Mike Rose has explained in a Twitter thread in relation to one of the games published by his company, Descenders.

That’s one way. The other issue is that scammers can use stolen cards to buy keys through things like bundles and then resell them on G2A. However, if someone buys that key and it turns out to be stolen that game be removed from the person’s library. This will also mean chargebacks will occur from people who had card details stolen, so those sales developers thought were legit aren’t and they lose the income. That’s because under law in a lot of places including England if you buy a stolen good unknowingly it can be taken away by the authorities. Of course, if it were also discovered that G2A knew it was selling goods that were got through illegal means then the company could be liable for handling stolen goods though that would be difficult to prove, and G2A has shown it is taking steps to curb the issue.

It’s all a bit of a mess really.

Written by
From the heady days of the Mega Drive up until the modern day gaming has been my main hobby. I'll give almost any game a go.

1 Comment

  1. To be honest, unless there’s some other information I missed, I agree with G2A.

    Where do the game keys come from that are sold on G2A?
    You can’t buy game keys in bulk from steam or any other store-front, the only place somebody could obtain game keys in bulk at a discount is direct from the game publisher.
    If the developers are unhappy with keys for their game being sold at a discount then don’t allow your publisher to sell keys for your game in bulk, and certainly don’t sell them to shady middle-men with no identity.

    G2A have put their money where their mouth is and offered a 10x return for any proven cases of chargebacks on the devs for keys which were sold on G2A, I think that says it all to be honest.
    I understand that for indies being a victim of card fraud is terrible and can effect their razor thin bottom line, but why attack G2A over it? Just stop letting keys for your game be sold into the market in bulk and only sell directly to store fronts.

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